6 January 1926|
|Died||14 July 1990
|Other names||Walther Sedlmayer|
After his 1945 wartime Abitur, Sedlmayr served as a Flakhelfer towards the end of World War II. His acting career began with minor roles with the Münchner Kammerspiele, for which he played more than 25 years, and in numerous Heimatfilme during the 1940s and 1950s.
In 1971, by now an associate of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Sedlmayr was briefly arrested because a stolen artwork, the Blutenburger Madonna, was found in his house. He was later acquitted of all charges, and the media attention given to his trial helped him gain major roles. His breakthrough came with the leading role in Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's film Theodor Hierneis oder Wie man ehem. Hofkoch wird (1972). Afterwards, Sedlmayr was cast in numerous popular German TV shows, including Münchner Geschichten, Der Herr Kottnik, Der Millionenbauer, and Polizeiinspektion 1; he also frequently appeared on stage and in other media.
On 15 July 1990, Sedlmayr was found dead in the bedroom of his Munich apartment. He had been tied up, stabbed in the stomach with a knife and beaten about the head with a hammer. On 21 May 1993, two half-brothers, Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber, former business associates of Sedlmayr, were found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One of them left prison in August 2007 and the other on January 15, 2008.
There has been some recent controversies concerning Wikipedia's decision to publish the names of Sedlmayr's killers. The contention concerns the European right to oblivion and American First Amendment free speech. In 2009 the two convicted demanded the removal of their names from the German as well as English Wikipedia. While the German-language Wikipedia followed the demand the English-language Wikipedia has contested the validity of the ruling as it neither operates nor has assets in Germany. In December 2009 the Bundesgerichtshof, the highest court in of ordinary jurisdiction in Germany, decided that the convicted have no right of removal from internet archives as this would be in a too strong conflict with the right on free speech. After that, the German Wikipedia included the names again.
In 1973, Sedlmayr won the Outstanding Individual Achievement: Actor Deutscher Filmpreis award for his role in Theodor Hierneis oder Wie man ehemaliger Hofkoch wird.
- "Sedlmayr-Mörder aus Haft entlassen" (in German). Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- "Bescheißt du mich eigentlich?" (in German). Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- Mordfall Walter Sedlmayr (on page 22) Focus magazine article, 17 January 2005, in German
- Jörg Völkerling (18 December 2004). "Neue Spur im Mordfall Sedlmayr" (in German). Berliner Morgenpost.
- "Sedlmayr-Mord: Gericht prüft Wiederaufnahme des Verfahrens" (in German). Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. 12 April 2005.
- Two German Killers Demanding Anonymity Sue Wikipedia’s Parent in the New York Times
- Bundesgerichtshof (2009-12-15). "Deutschlandradio darf Mitschriften nicht mehr aktueller Rundfunkbeiträge, in denen im Zusammenhang mit dem Mord an Walter Sedlmayr der Name der Verurteilten genannt wird, in ihrem "Online-Archiv" weiterhin zum Abruf bereithalten". Mitteilung der Pressestelle Nr. 255/2009. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- Hendrik Steinkuhl: Nachbeben bei Wikipedia: Vor 25 Jahren starb der Schauspieler Walter Sedlmayr , NOZ, 14 July 2015.
- Fall Sedlmayr – Müssen die Namen der Mörder im Netz nachträglich getilgt werden?, 11 November 2009, on sueddeutsche.de